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Saturday, 5 March 2011

Deep Shadow Maps

While doing my research on Deep image compositing.

From the Deep Image Compositing website, I discovered that the file format was leveraging on Pixar's deep shadow map. I became interested in this because in today's lighting training, The term Deep Shadow Map entered into the informal discussion between me and my colleagues.

Here's the link to Pixar's Deep Shadow Map website, describing what it is, and how it is implemented:

http://www.graphics.stanford.edu/papers/deepshadows/


Deep Image Compositing

Today at our beer and pizza, Max Chan mentioned about a new concept and workflow in compositing: Deep Image Compositing.

It was a new concept that he heard or read about, but he could not be sure exactly what it was. So I did a search for it on the internet and this is what I found.

http://www.deepimg.com/

It is essentially a method for storing information about an image that goes beyond the basic pixel colour and intensity. It is similar to multi channel image formats like the EXR developed by Industrial Light and Magic, RPF, RLA and the PSD format used by Adobe Photoshop.

However, it is different from these formats. It attempts to solve edge aliasing in these extra channels when used in compositing. To this end, it also implements a different way to store and compress image data.

For a quick video demonstration and overview (if you decide not to visit the Deep Image website), here are 2 videos from www.vimeo.com, posted by Johannes Saam, who presented an overview of deep image compositing at the Foundry user group meeting.

Update: Reservist and Work

It is my second day back at work. Before this I was called back for reservist, where I helped with content creation for airforce workplan. This took up 3 weeks and I was working around the clock, from camp as well as from home.

I was tasked to produce 3D models and animation of several aircrafts. These include a fighter jet, a passenger plane and a helicopter. I used 3D Studio Max from Autodesk for the first one, just to make sure I still have my skills for 3DS Max. I modified and added stuff through modelling and texturing, so it looks like the one from the Airforce. I animated and rendered the animation also in Max, using V-Ray by Chaos Group.

For the next 2 aircrafts, I modelled from scratch in Maya. I was given only photographs. However I managed to find some low resolution blueprints for those crafts. Then I textured and animated them in Maya as well, using the Mental Ray renderer.

In the end, I managed to deliver. However, the content must get approval before they can tell me if my models and animation are acceptable.

At the work front. There's quite a bit of rush as I returned to Double Negative Singapore. Just after the Chinese New Year, my peers who have only very recently been doing matchmove, have started to do TD work for environment modelling, texturing and lighting. My reservist set me back 3 weeks. Now I am back, I have a lot to catch up, learning new software (including UV unwrapping and sculpting / painting software) and new workflows.

We had introduction to lighting in Renderman by Sonny, a friend of mine that has just recently joined our company as our lead in lighting. It was a great introduction to renderman and fundamental lighting principles.

Double Negative won an Oscar award for Visual Effects on the work she did on Inception, so it was all very exciting for us at today's Beer and Pizza. It turned into Champagne and Pizza, with finger food, to celebrate the joyous occasion.

More info on Inception here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1375666/